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Looking for some inspiration or an interesting read? These blogs are designed to help you see common fundraising problems differently and provide practical ideas you can try straight away.

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  • The Dufresne Jolt – a fundraising lesson from the Shawshank Redemption

    My favourite moment in the Shawshank Redemption is the look on the evil warden’s face when he finally discovers the tunnel that Andy Dufresne has been digging under his nose. I love it because finding the tunnel jolts my understanding of the entire plot up to this point, in which the nasty warden had seemed... MORE

  • Does your ethical policy empower or distract?

    ‘Should we accept money from the arms manufacturer?’ I was recently coaching the fundraising director of a small charity with a connection to the armed services. She said one of her biggest time-wasters was internal arguments about whether to accept support from a particular military supplier. I asked if she had an ethical policy whic MORE

  • The Theory of Desirable Difficulty

    Can you find advantage in your biggest disadvantage? Many people are aware that Richard Branson is dyslexic. Until recently I had not been aware of research that shows that he shares this characteristic with many other entrepreneurs. Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a MORE

  • How Great Leaders Inspire Action

    My five year old son is not bad at hand writing. But to be honest I think he does find it more boring and harder work than some of his more sedentary class-mates. And yet during half term week, he voluntarily spent nearly two hours researching and writing a six page ‘book’. And he really... MORE

  • Two techniques I learned from a professional story-teller

    In 2002 I noticed that the fundraisers around me with outstanding results, used more specific stories when they chatted to supporters, than people who got merely ‘average’ or ‘good’ results.     My problem was I was not good at this. It was harder than it looked. So in order to get more confident, I... MORE

  • Evidence – Do stories really increase fundraising income?

    Mother Theresa once said, ‘if I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will’. So stories are very useful if you’re in the business of helping people want to give. Actually I’ve found that the big news is not that telling stories is an essential ingredient of... MORE

  • But wait there's more: Three essential fundraising lessons from the self-proclaimed Salesman of the Century

    I read the amazing life story of the ultimate ‘board-walk pitchman’ Ron Pompeil, in The Pitchman, an article by Malcolm Gladwell. I was intrigued by the influencing power of this extraordinary entrepreneur. If you sense you could be more successful when talking to your supporters, then Ron’s techniques will help. Over the last ten y MORE

  • Rob Woods' Review of Chapters 9 – 11 of Story-Telling Can Change The World Emotional Fundraising – The Essential Ingredient

    Rob Woods (@woods_rob) is an author and fundraising trainer who has helped more than 5000 fundraisers, trustees and Directors through his award-winning courses and coaching. For more information, see www.brightsotfundraising.co.uk. Thank goodness, a fundraising book that is both entertaining and practical. Too many are dry and overly theo MORE

  • Six ideas to help other teams love fundraising

    How Birmingham Children’s Hospital show that culture change is possible At the Annual Lectures in 2013, Louise McCathie, then Head of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital realised that her biggest challenge was the culture of her organisation. In the context of the thousands of people who work for the hospital, her fundraisin MORE

  • Three Fundamentals That Make Networking Both Bearable and Genuinely Useful

    To find out more about the Corporate Partnerships Mastery Programme March – July 2015 click here.   A) Decide what you want   If you are serious about raising as much money as possible then it’s essential you get real about the importance of networking. Another reason is that sensible networking is fundamental to great... MORE

  • Solve Problems Quickly

    My Scatty Chief Exec is Giving Me a Headache   ‘Its driving me nuts, Rob. I work so hard to get these meetings with potential donors and then in the meeting my chief exec says all the wrong things…’   She’d come to ask for my advice at the end of a training session and... MORE

  • Win that Pitch

    Seven Scarily-common Mistakes that Harm your Chances of Winning Valuable Partnerships   When several years ago, Alix Wooding and her then team at Alzheimer’s Society won the partnership (worth £7.5 million) with UK retailer Tesco, it was the second time her charity had won the Tesco partnership in a decade. For the same charity to MORE

  • David and Goliath – ideas for fundraisers who need to DEFY the odds, (inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s book)

    I will be teaching how to apply SEVEN easy-to-apply strategies to help any under-dog beat its Goliath and raise more money, in my session David and Goliath at the IOF Convention on Wed 9th July.   Recently I witnessed an amazing game of tennis. Nick Kyrgios, the 19 year old Australian, ranked 144 in the... MORE

  • Treating Trusts as Major Donors

    Would you like your trust fundraising results to grow? I wanted to share some ideas from one of the outstanding sessions at this year’s IOF Convention.   Lucy Sargent and James Holland of Marie Curie Cancer Care told the story of how trust income has increased from £1m / year four years ago, to £3.5m... MORE

  • How to get more meetings with millionaires

    1. Get really clear. More appointments per month with current and potential donors can only lead to improvements in major gift income. Fewer or the same number of appointments can only lead to flat-lined or poorer results this year and in the future.   2. See it as your job to secure appointments. Potential major... MORE